This title may sound like an oxymoron. But consider the difference between unity and centralization.
Unity refers to a common cause, and agreement on a goal, but not necessarily the means to get there.
Centralization is the means, supposedly to unite, but in reality to dictate. Centralization does not need agreement to happen, it happens by force, and by the will of those who control the central mechanisms. Political power is centralized, but that does not mean that all those affected by that power are unified.
When centralized without unity, our differences become points of contention and violence. But when unified in a goal without centralization, there is nothing to fight over.
ICHA, the International Coalition for Human Action, promotes unity of “geolibres”, not centralization of these mini free market societies. All geolibres share the same goal, and are therefore unified in the desire to promote individual freedom and create a better system than current governments offer through forced collectivization.
Let’s take a look at what some claim is the root of all evil: money. Money is simply a placeholder in an advanced economy to make it easier to get the things we need–a facilitator of trade. Money is not the problem, centralization of currency is the problem. The fact that those who centralize the currency manipulate it to their benefit is the problem.
If we are unified in our desire for currency, but disagree on the best currency, the clear solution is to have multiple competing currencies. This way power will never be centralized in the hands of a few politicians, or a few corporations.
Decentralized currency is the key to solving the main problem identified by those who fear corporate power is the catalyst behind government evil. The fear is that consolidation of capital over time will make competition impossible, leading to a feudal type society. Competing currencies will make sure this never happens, because a currency can fail, and become worthless, without upsetting the greater peace and prosperity of a region the way the collapse of a centralized government currency would.
If currency is not centralized, there is no one to force you to use it, and therefore give power to an entity who has amassed tons of the single currency. When major wrongdoing of a company hits the public, the stocks plummet in value. The same thing would happen if people ever lost faith in a currency.
Suppose Amazon had a trillion Amazon dollars, but they stopped delivering the products that people bought on Amazon. Amazon’s trillion Amazon dollars would not be worth very much for very long. Once the promise of redeeming Amazon dollars for goods goes away, then the value of the Amazon dollars follows.
Sure, I might be pissed that I lost 50 Amazon dollars that I had, or even $500, but Amazon dollars are not the only currency I would have. I would also have some silver, some stock in Apple say, a respected bank’s notes, and various other currencies redeemable for actual goods at the stores that issued the currencies. My money portfolio would be diversified, so that even if one currency went away, I would still be able to keep my wealth. As it stands, the dollar is a very poor wealth retention tool, because inflation is constantly devaluing it.
[On a related note, in my novel, Anarchy in New England, smaller less stable currencies are bought up by banks who use them as assets to back their own currency, much like a mutual fund. This way there are different levels of stability and value in different currencies. Then there are services, much like a credit card company coupled with a stock exchange, who convert the value of any particular currency into a standard dollar unit when purchasing, so that a dollar never changes in value.]
Why does inflation constantly decrease the value of your dollar? Because government has centralized control over the dollar, and benefits from printing more, since they get to spend the printed money. They have control over the dollars diluting the pool of wealth, so even if a dollar becomes worth half as much, they need only print twice as much to control the same amount of wealth.
If Amazon did the same, the price of their own goods would increase, because while there were more Amazon dollars, the number of goods would not increase. This would reduce business, because Amazon customers’ Amazon dollars would not have increased, yet the Amazon prices would be higher–inflation on a small and contained scale. So even if Amazon executives controlled more Amazon dollars, without people being forced to use them, they would not be controlling any more wealth. It is only their own wealth they have devalued, and that of their customers, who will be angry and taking their business elsewhere.
ICHA Bringing People Together
Decentralizing the currency would bring people together for trade, because it would be much harder to take advantage of consumers. Almost everyone sees the benefit in trade; in specializing to more efficiently serve economic demands. We want an easy way for trade to work, but we don’t want to be robbed, or forced to compete on an uneven playing field. We can unify in our desire for a strong, technological, ever-advancing economy, without having to centralize control over that economy. Decentralizing the currency could unify the economic would.
Likewise, ICHA is a voluntary association of geolibres, because geolibres see the benefit of unity in their goal of free societies. But since they all have different ideas on how to best form and run these societies, centralization would be antithetical to that goal. But suppose all these geolibres agree that their right to self governance should not be violated, and come to the aide of one another when entities attempt to violate this right. ICHA is one organization that can help facilitate this unity that keeps decentralized governance possible.
In the age of information, there is no reason why ICHA and other organization like it cannot perform market functions that keep people free, instead trying to centralize control, which inevitably leads to conflict. Instead, we can all unify in our desires for peace and prosperity.